Yes! I won a prize. A photographic company invited readers of their Facebook page to submit pictures of their “adventures.” I had a go.
Imagine my surprise when I had a message to say they liked the photo and had awarded me a £30 voucher to use against their services. OK, not earth-shattering, but an unexpected joy. My winning photo was taken in the Austrian Tyrol, one of the loveliest places I have visited.
One drawback- the prize had to be used in a couple of days.
Let the hunt begin! I decided to put a canvas print on my study wall. When you take as many photos as I do, there’s a lot of choice. So I tried out several favourites, and had a go at editing and printing a shortlist.
The final choice came down to a memory.
We spent an amazing holiday in 2016 going from Vancouver up the Inside Passage of Alaska. Everything was stunningly beautiful, but one place was extra-special. We entered Glacier Bay and as we arrived the rain stopped- to unveil the majesty of the Marjorie Glacier. I was awed into silence. Awesome colour in the ice, eagles resting on ice floes, and almost complete silence.
Few places have left me silent, awestruck and overcome. This was the most profound quiet: it seemed wrong to make noise.
Look closely at the foreground. Two bright red canoeists bravely exploring- and their size gives a clue as to the immensity of the ice sheet.
This is the photo that will be seen every time I enter or leave my study. It reminds me of awe. It also reminds me to be concerned with the changing climate: we watched three “calving” moments where tons of ice splintered and crashed into the waiting sea. These glaciers are shrinking alarmingly quickly: the next generation may not be able to see these mighty glaciers. They are melting away and threaten sea-level rises that will impact on the globe.
God gave humanity a responsibility: to care for the Earth and everything in it. What will we say when the Lord asks us how well we did our work?
Looking at this photo can only give an impression of awesomeness. Perhaps, though, we can also look in our hearts to find memories of moment when awe closed our mouths and opened our spirits to the Eternal.
May holy awe touch your life. Thanks for reading.